REED: So I think this situation where he's going to have to answer questions, he's prepared to do it, and I think he'll come out of this with strong support.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Martha, the president emphasized that Senator Hagel will also be the first enlisted soldier at the head of the Pentagon. You talk to the military every day, have embedded with the troops. How much of a difference do you think that will make, that he served as an enlisted soldier?
RADDATZ: You know, I was in touch with a lot of soldiers and Marines last night via Facebook and email and asked them that very question. And they all said it's great that he has combat service, but that's not what we're looking at, and this is a military that has so much combat experience, and really far more than Chuck Hagel, so I think they appreciate it, but it doesn't make an enormous difference.
The one thing I think is really important here is the next two years, we are going to be bringing a lot of veterans home. That matters. Chuck Hagel understands that. He understands what it's like to be wounded, and he would probably pay very close attention to those veterans.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Richard Haass, the questions are coming at Senator Hagel from so many different directions, questions about his views on gay rights, his views on Israel, his views on Iran. We just heard Senator Corker talk about questions coming from staff on his temperament. You served in the administration, you are head of the Council on Foreign Relations -- what should be relevant here?
HAASS: The only thing that should be relevant, George, I would say, is his ability to run the Pentagon and his views on policy. And I think there is a space and there should be a space for the hearings, and more broadly, to ask Chuck Hagel what is he prepared to do about Iran, what does he think the right mix, say, is of sanctions or possible use of military force? What should we be doing about cutting the Pentagon budget or Senator Corker said about nuclear issues? All totally legitimate.
Where I think people are going over the line is with ad hominem attacks -- questioning for example whether he's an anti-Semite. I've known Chuck Hagel for more 20 years. For what it's worth, I think that's preposterous. I also don't think that has a place in the public space. We often ask why aren't public debates bitter? Why aren't sometimes the best people going into public life? This is one of the reasons. I think there is a legitimate place here, and the Senate offers it, for questioning Senator Hagel or Senator Kerry or anyone else about their policies. I really don't think there's a legitimate place in American political life for ad hominem attacks. These are loaded words that are being cast about, and I think they re simply beyond the pale.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's move to the question of his views on Iran, because he did address that in his -- in an interview with his home paper. And I want to show what he said about that. He was responding to the questions that he opposed unilateral sanctions in the past. He went on to say, "I have not supported unilateral sanctions because when it is us alone, they don't work, and they just isolate the United States. United Nations sanctions are working. When we just decree something, that doesn't work."